by Liz Rothaus Bertrand

We often talk about professional reasons to study a foreign language: advancing your career, communicating with foreign business contacts, and opportunities for work abroad, among them.

But there are also many great social benefits to learning a new language. At its heart, speaking a foreign language is about communicating with others and unlocking new worlds for discovery.  We’ve been privileged to see many new friendships form and even some romances blossom, thanks to courses at The Language Academy of the Carolinas. You never know who you’re going to meet once you open yourself up to a new language and culture. Whether it’s in a class or through a trip abroad, your life can change in ways you never imagined.

In honor of Valentine’s Day, we’re bringing you this sweet story about a former student. Like so many great romances, it all started with a kiss…

That would be Hungarian-born Attila Kiss.

Back in 2008, Attila enrolled in Beginning Spanish at The Language Academy. Although he enjoyed his classes, his work schedule soon became too hectic for him to continue. Rather than give up on his dream of learning Spanish, Attila asked his Peruvian-born teacher, Suzanne, for advice on how he could continue to progress in his new language with limited time availability.

She suggested using his next vacation as a language immersion adventure and spending some time at her aunt’s home in Arequipa, Perú, where she runs a homestay Spanish language immersion school, ACI del Perú. Intrigued by Perú’s legendary landscapes and bio-diversity (it’s one of a handful of countries known as “mega-diverse”) and the promise of improving his Spanish skills, Attila set off on a month-long language expedition.


Upon his return, he invited his former teacher and her parents over for dinner. It wasn’t long before Attila met Suzanne’s older sister, Denisse Caceres, a Spanish language Interpreter for Charlotte Radiology. The two hit it off and after several years of dating, were married in 2012. “I’m the happiest woman in the world next to him,” says Denisse.

And their adventures continue! We wish a hearty Congratulations! ¡Felicidades!, and Gratulálok! to this multi-lingual couple and to big brother Turner on the recent arrival of baby Salma into their English/Spanish/Hungarian-speaking family.

Looking for your own travel and language immersion adventure? Check out our upcoming trips to France (June 17 - 27, 2015) and Argentina (October 14 - 24, 2015)!